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Transcript
This page is a transcription of Sun Probe

Narrator (Alan Tracy): "Thunderbird 3 calling Earth. This is Alan Tracy in outer space. I'm en route to Thunderbird 5 with spares and stores for John, and I've been watching a video show recalling the news highlights of 2065. One flashback has just come up which was nearly the end for Thunderbird 3. We called it Operation Sun Probe. The Solar Control Centre at Cape Kennedy, after years of preparation, was set to launch their greatest project ever. A spaceship was to be sent into close orbit around the Sun, in order to fire a probe, and literally bring back a piece of the Sun for examination by the world's scientists. The spacecraft was over 600 feet long, and crewed by three astronauts. Because of the intense heat, the crew were protected by 20-foot thick stainless steel walls, and fantastic refrigeration equipment. The probe was designed to fly through one of the Sun's greatest prominences, or mountainous flames, which constantly flare up from the surface to heights of 300,000 miles and more. When the probe had collected the material, special braking rockets were designed to bring it back to unite with the parent craft. At this stage, we of International Rescue were just a few among the millions of fascinated video viewers. Little did we know that we would soon be deeply and dangerously involved ourselves."

Colonel Benson: "Stand by, Solar Module. Thirteen seconds. Commencing final countdown. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, full power! Lift-off."

Colonel Benson: "Lift-off A-OK. Project Sun Probe is on!"

Television Reporter: "That film, folks, taken a week ago, showed the launching of the Sun Probe. With me in the studio is Professor Heinz Bodman, who is going to explain just how the Sun Probe project will operate."

Professor Bodman: "Good evenink."

Jeff Tracy: "Say, where's Brains? Doesn't he want to hear all this?"

Scott Tracy: "Ah, this is old stuff to him, father. He's in his workshop playing around with his latest invention."

Brains: "Now, uh, Braman, I'm gonna test your secretarial characteristics. Now, tell me, what are my appointments for the day?"

Braman: "9am - monitor electronic telecast from Cape Kennedy. 11am - check Thunderbird 2 alarm system."

Jeff Tracy: "Don't you want to watch Operation Sun Probe, Brain?"

Brains: "I'd prefer to fix Braman, Mr Tracy. He's still far too impulsive."

Jeff Tracy: "But Brains, they're going into orbit in five minutes."

Brains: "Four and one-quarter minutes, to be precise, Mr Tracy."

Jeff Tracy: "Say, you know the Sun Probe routine by heart. You're not as blasé as you act!"

Brains: "Oh, no, sir."

Jeff Tracy: "Ha-ha-ha. Well, you could've fooled me!"

Solarnaut Asher: "Orbital path, ten seconds."

Colonel Harris: "Right. Stand by. Five, four, three, two, one... Retros! Great! We're on correct orbit. Check radiation and temperature levels."

Solarnaut Asher: "Temperature, A-OK."

Solarnaut Camp: "Radiation, A-OK."

Solarnaut Asher: "Twenty seconds to firing time for probe."

Colonel Harris: "All systems on probe are green. Ten seconds."

Solarnaut Asher: "Firing controls are go."

Colonel Harris: "Five seconds. Four, three, two, one... Ignition!"

Television Reporter: "Well, folks, the Sun Probe has been fired. We will give you all the details as they are received from the spaceship. The tension here in the studio mounts as we await further news."

Colonel Harris: "Sun Probe going through flare now."

Solarnaut Camp: "Standing by to fire remote control rockets."

Solarnaut Asher: "Five seconds, four, three, two, one.... Fire!"

Solarnaut Asher: "It's coming out! She's turning!"

Colonel Harris: "We've made it."

Solarnaut Asher: "Great. Let's get that probe."

Solarnaut Asher: "And then: back to Earth!"

Narrator: "Yes, it looked like all was going well. The probe had done its job, and had been relinked with the parent ship. But they couldn't fire their retro rockets. Brains calculated that the intense radiation levels caused by the close proximity of the Sun had interfered with the craft's control system. Sun Probe was on a collision course with the Sun!"

TV Reporter: "Please stand by for a news flash. We are going over to Colonel Benson at the Solar Control Centre for an important announcement."

Colonel Benson: "All efforts to alter the spaceship's course by firing the retros by radio beam from earth have failed. Now I have a vital request to make. If International Rescue are watching, would they please communicate at once with Solar Control Centre, Cape Kennedy. I repeat, this is vital. International Rescue, we need your help."

Jeff Tracy: "Get me Cape Kennedy."

Tin-Tin: "Yes, sir."

Jeff Tracy: "Very well, Colonel Benson. We'll attempt a rescue, but this is a tough one."

Colonel Benson: "You can say that again. Anyway, good luck."

Jeff Tracy: "Right, let's go over it once again. The Sun Probe rocket is heading straight into the sun. And unless we can fire the retros to make the rocket turn round, those three solarnauts are doomed."

Brains: "Well, Mr Tracy, the only solution is for us to fire the retros by radio beam."

Scott Tracy: "The radio complex on Thunderbird 3 would seem the obvious choice."

Virgil Tracy: "But Scott, the transmission range of Thunderbird 3 isn't powerful enough. I think Thunderbird 2's transmitter would stand a much better chance."

Brains: "Well, Mr Tracy, I think we may be underestimating the heat and radiation resistances of our spacecraft. But the transmission potential of Thunderbird 2 could certainly be tremendous."

Jeff Tracy: "Right. We'll launch a two-pronged rescue attempt. First of all, we've got to get Thunderbird 3 launched as soon as possible. When do you think that could be, Brains?"

Brains: "Well, the radio equipment will have to be modified. But I should think launching could take place soon after sun-up."

Jeff Tracy: "Right. Go and organise that now, Brains."

Jeff Tracy: "Virgil, you'd better go to the computer room and work out what point is best for Thunderbird 2 to project a safety beam towards the Sun Probe."

Virgil Tracy: "OK, father."

Alan Tracy: "Father, we'll need an extra crew member to operate the safety beam."

Jeff Tracy: "All right, Alan, you'd better take Tin-Tin along with you. Launching takes place at 0800 hours."

Jeff Tracy: "Right, we're ready. You know what to do?"

Scott Tracy: "Yes, father."

Alan Tracy: "Let's hope it'll work from that distance."

Jeff Tracy: "It's got to. It's as close as we dare go. Good luck, all of you."

Narrator: "While I was preparing Thunderbird 3, Virgil and Brains had boarded Thunderbird 2, and taken off for their destination: Mount Arkan, in the Thimalayan Range. One of the coldest spots on Earth, but the nearest point to the solar ship from which to operate with any hope of success. Their job was to project a Safety Beam towards Sun Probe, to work in conjunction with the one from Thunderbird 3. It was a long shot, but given luck, it would work. Eventually, it was time to go, and I joined Tin-Tin and Scott on the couch in our lounge, which transports us directly to the control cabin of Thunderbird 3. The couch sank through the floor, and was immediately replaced by the empty one from below, so the room looked as if it had never been disturbed. Down and down we went, until the couch came to rest on the bogey truck below. Then along raced the truck, until it came to rest beneath the towering hull of Thunderbird 3. Up again on a hydraulic jack, until we were firmly settled in the control cabin."

Alan Tracy: "Stand by for blastoff. Lift-off."

Narrator: "With a tremendous upward surge which pinned us to our reclining take-off couches, we were carried upward through the Round House, which disguises the entrance to the Thunderbird 3 hangar, we were on our way to the Sun."

Colonel Harris: "Well, there's still time. We've got a whole day before...."

Solarnaut Asher: "Before we melt to nothing! Why doesn't Earth do something?"

Alan Tracy: "Solar Module from International Rescue. Do you read me."

Solarnaut Asher: "Now I'm hearing things. I thought that was the radio."

Alan Tracy: "Come in Solar Module, this is International Rescue."

Colonel Harris: "It IS the radio."

Solarnaut Asher: "Solar Module to Thunderbird 3. Where are you? Can you help us?"

Alan Tracy: "We hope so. We're going to try to fire your retros from space."

Tin-Tin: "Operating safety beam now."

Scott Tracy: "Negative. We're four hours short."

Alan Tracy: "Four hours. But that means we'll have to go much closer to the sun than was estimated."

Scott Tracy: "It looks like it."

Tin-Tin: "Can we stand the increased heat and radiation?"

Alan Tracy: "On paper, no, but we can't just abandon those three guys. We sure have a problem."

Virgil Tracy: "How's the beam situation?"

Brains: "All set. Transmitting safety beam now."

Virgil Tracy: "Well, Brains, what's the position?"

Brains: "Well, it's a very powerful beam we're sending. But not as yet quite powerful enough."

Virgil Tracy: "Is there anything we can do?"

Brains: "Oh, yeah. Once I have modified the tripartite transistor packs and made a few adjustments to the wiring, we can try again."

Virgil Tracy: "OK, while you're doing that, I'll fix us some hot coffee."

Colonel Harris: "I can't stand the heat. It's so hot."

Solarnaut Camp: "Are you sure you can't get any more out of the refrigeration plant?"

Colonel Harris: "No. Nothing's working any more."

Solarnaut Camp: "Where's that rescue ship? It's nearly four hours since we were in contact with them."

Alan Tracy: "It's still short. Can't you increase the power, Tin-Tin?"

Tin-Tin: "I can overrun the system up to about 0.5."

Alan Tracy: "Then do that, will you. We just can't go any closer."

Narrator: "It was now or never. I just couldn't risk taking Thunderbird 3 any neare the Sun. Already there were signs of stress on the instruments and hull. Also, Tin-Tin sounded just about all-in."

Colonel Harris: "Why am I still alive? Why isn't the module melting? Say, that noise.... It's the rocket motors! They've fired! Asher, Camp, we're leaving the sun! We're gonna live!"

Alan Tracy: "OK, the solar ship's out of danger. Let's head for home."

Scott Tracy: "Just in time, I guess. I couldn't have stood much more of this heat."

Alan Tracy: "Fire retros."

Scott Tracy: "Well, fire retros, Alan! It's getting unbearable!"

Alan Tracy: "I have, but they're not working!"

Scott Tracy: "Alan, we're still on a collision course with the sun!"

Virgil Tracy: "Hello? Father?"

Jeff Tracy: "Virgil? Bad news about Thunderbird 3."

Virgil Tracy: "What's happened?"

Jeff Tracy: "Alan succeeded in saving the Sun Probe, but now, it seems the retros have failed on Thunderbird 3, and they're heading straight for the sun."

Virgil Tracy: "Straight for the sun! Brains! What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?"

Brains: "If it is the case that the beam transmitter is still operating...."

Virgil Tracy: "Yes?"

Brains: "We could perhaps, only perhaps, mind you, neutralise the transmitter on Thunderbird 3."

Virgil Tracy: "Great! What's the frequency?"

Brains: "I don't know, but I could probably work it out on the mobile computer in Thunderbird 2."

Virgil Tracy: "OK. Let's get to it!"

Brains: "That's it, Virgil. Right, open it up and we'll work out the formula for the transmitter."

Virgil Tracy: "Braman!"

Brains: "Oh, no! Virgil, we brought the wrong box!"

Brains: "It's no use, Virgil. There's nothing we can do!"

Virgil Tracy: "Listen, couldn't you work out the formula on paper?"

Brains: "I only wish I could, Virgil, but you see, without a computer, it would take weeks."

Virgil Tracy: "But if you could work out the details of Braman's mechanics without a computer, surely you could...."

Brains: "Braman! Th-th-that's it! He's our only hope."

Virgil Tracy: "Well, let's get on with it, Brains! For Pete's sake."

Brains: "Now, Braman, I want you to calculate the following equation. What is the square root to the power of 29 of the trigonometric amplitude of 87 divided by the quantitative hydraxis of 956 to the power of 77? Do you understand the question?"

Braman: "Yes."

Brains: "Off you go then. Now. Come on, Braman. Come on!"

Virgil Tracy: "Do you think it's gonna work?"

Brains: "It's got to. It's got to!"

Brains: "Well, B-B-Braman?"

Braman: "45,969."

Virgil Tracy: "It worked, Brains, it worked!"

Brains: "I only hope it's right. Come on, let's get back to the transmitter truck."

Jeff Tracy: "International Rescue calling Virgil at Mount Arkan. This is International Rescue Base calling Thunderbird 2. That's funny, they don't answer, Gordon."

Virgil Tracy: "Base from Thunderbird 2. Base from Thunderbird 2."

Jeff Tracy: "Loud and clear, Virgil, where are you?"

Virgil Tracy: "I'm sorry, father. We just heard your signal as we came back from the pod. Listen, father, it's our only hope. We haven't got time to explain, but Brains is gonna try to jam Thunderbird 3's transmitter. Ready, Brains?"

Brains: "Yeah. I've lined the transmitter up."

Virgil Tracy: "Right. Go!"

Alan Tracy: "What's happened? Hey, the retros must have fired. We're moving away from the sun! We're moving away from the sun!"

Brains: "Virgil! Something's happening. I'm getting a reading from Thunderbird 3!"

Virgil Tracy: "Yeah, me, too! It can mean only one thing: the retros."

Brains: "Yeah. They've fired. The retros have fired on Thunderbird 3!"

Narrator: "Yes, Brains came through just in time! We were convinced we were beyond help. At least, had we been conscious, that would have been our thought. It says a lot for Brains's engineering genius that Thunderbird 3 stood up to the tremendous heat. Of course, we also have a very soft spot for Braman since that particular rescue. Well, I'm approaching Thunderbird 5 now. Thanks for joining me on the trip. See you all again soon, I hope. Goodbye for now."


THE END

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